With food insecurity on the rise across North America, Molson Coors Beverage Company is teaming up with food banks associated with Feeding America to donate nearly 3 million meals in its hometown and brewery markets. The donation will help at a time when there is unprecedented demand for food banks’ services due to the coronavirus pandemic and the associated economic fallout.
“In 2020, we’ve seen an increase in food insecurity in all our communities,” says Michael Nordman, Molson Coors’ senior manager of community affairs. “Food banks are reporting higher-than-ever demand for their services. This is an opportunity to step up and help families in need in our communities.”
Molson Coors is donating meals to food banks in its 10 hometowns and brewery markets:
- 180,000 meals to Feeding the Valley Food Bank (Albany, Ga.)
- 750,000 meals to the Greater Chicago Food Depository
- 48,000 meals to Agnes’ Table (Chippewa Falls, Wis.)
- 540,000 meals to Food Bank of the Rockies (Denver/Golden, Colo.)
- 375,000 meals to Tarrant Area Food Bank (Fort Worth, Texas)
- 375,000 meals to Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin (Milwaukee)
- 171,000 kg of food to Moisson Montreal
- 125,000 meals to Blue Ridge Area Food Bank (Shenandoah, Va.)
- 65,000 meals to Daily Bread Food Bank (Toronto)
- 240,000 meals to Shared Harvest Foodbank (Trenton, Ohio)
The donations were revealed on billboards in the markets and through a social media campaign yesterday.
Food banks are seeing unprecedented demand as families are confronted with an economy brought to its knees by the coronavirus pandemic and the prospect of much-needed relief for Americans expiring at the end of the year. The number of people facing hunger could reach 50 million by the end of 2020, according to Feeding America. That’s one in six Americans, and one in four children – a 30% jump from last year. One in seven Canadians face hunger, according to government statistics.
“We’re seeing an average of 50% more people in need versus January (2020). It’s been nonstop, immense need in our communities,” says Greg Trotter, spokesman for the Greater Chicago Food Depository. “Many of our pantries have lines wrapped around the block, down the street.
“It’s a grim situation.”
Feeding America, the largest anti-hunger organization in the United States, says it has provided a staggering and unprecedented number of meals this year— some 4.2 billion between March and October. Its members saw an average of 60% more clients during the pandemic, including 40% who had never used their services before.
And as food banks experience an influx of families in need, their costs are increasing. They not only have to buy more food, but the cost of food is growing while some government programs aimed at fighting food insecurity are set to expire.
“We expect to spend at least three times more on food purchasing this fiscal year as compared to last year. We’re buying more food, and it’s costing more,” says Trotter. “Donations like this are incredibly important for us to do that.”
With the economic impact of the pandemic expected to last for a long time, the demand for services provided by food banks – and the need for support – will continue.
“Food banks face a rising cost and rising need for donations,” Trotter says. “And we’re always in need of volunteers. It’s a safe and empowering way to help out.”
For Molson Coors, the donation is a natural extension of its commitment to communities where it has a presence, Nordman says.
“The needs in our communities have really increased and food security is one of the biggest issues that has come out of the pandemic,” says Nordman. “For Molson Coors, it was important to provide relief back to the communities where we work and live to meet those demands.”